Meet Council member Gonzales-Gutierrez
Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez grew up in North Denver where she continues to reside with her husband where they are raising their three children, the fourth generation of Denverites. She is the third generation to have attended Denver North High School and is the oldest of three with two younger brothers and parents who taught her and her brothers the importance of helping others. She has known early in her life that she wanted to be of service to others and improve education and services for those people in her community that did not have the same support and opportunities that she was afforded.
The first in her immediate family to graduate from college, Serena graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and began a career in human services. She worked in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice fields for the last 20 years as a Victim’s Advocate supporting victims of Domestic Violence, in the Division of Youth Services working with committed youth, a Social Caseworker with Denver Human Services and most recently as the Director of the Denver Collaborative Partnership from 2013-2023, where she expanded her role as a champion for systems level change within the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice systems. She also served as a Governor appointee on the Tony Grampsas Youth Services State Board from 2015-2020.
In 2018 Serena was elected to the Colorado State Legislature as State Representative for House District 4 in Northwest and West Denver, the same community in which she was raised. She served in the Legislature for five years where she passed over 60 pieces of legislation; served on the Public Health and Human Services, Judiciary, and Finance committees. She was appointed by the Speaker of the House to the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice from 2019-2023. And she was elected by her peers to be the Assistant Majority Leader in the House of Representatives in 2021 and 2022. In 2021 she served as Vice Chair of the Transformational Behavioral Health Taskforce where investments were made to the behavioral health care system across Colorado. While in the legislature she has championed policies to address social inequities by tackling issues of food insecurity, housing affordability, protections for renters, behavioral healthcare and creating avenues to promoting inclusivity for the many cultures that make up the state of Colorado. She has continued to support families navigating multiple systems while putting forth policy that benefits the community.
In April of 2023, she was elected to the Denver City Council at-large seat to serve the City and County of Denver where she is committed to working with the community in the fight for equity and community power in the city where her family has been a part of for three generations.